It was a crisp, bright morning when nine of us entered gate 43 for a two hour walk through pine upland and freshwater swamp habitats. Bill Dummittt, John Thalacker, Milli Chapell and yellow lab Sophia, Kit Lane, Vicki Crumpley, Sally Beveridge, Maggie Funchion, Nita Cox and myself braved the cold air and ticks for a walk in the beautiful woodland. Though quiet at first, we were soon fortunate to see plenty of birds. In spite of their rapid movements, we were able to see flocks of Tufted Titmouse, Pine Warblers and Yellow-rumped Warblers as the birds hung around the oaks, pine and sweetgum trees long enough to be identified. We also saw several Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Chipping sparrows and a Pileated Woodpecker. Because we passed through wet and dry areas, we were able to identify lots of plants and even a few flowers still in bloom. A big thanks to Vicki Crumpley and Nita Cox for their lovely pictures!
Please join us for our next nature walk in the woods! We will meet at the entrance to Cabin Road at 9am on Tuesday, January 6. No promises, but a couple years ago we saw a mating pair of otters in the ditch alongside Cabin Road! You never know what we will see, but we usually see something fun and interesting!
The Fowlers Bluff Gathering
About 30 Friends members gathered at the Fowlers Bluff boat ramp this morning, shoved off in 6 boats, and came back with huge hauls of trash from the river banks. Along the way, 3 water moccasins were spotted, a merganser, lots of asters, a sunning butterfly, and Flat Ben. Flat Ben was visiting Maria and wanted his photo taken with a snake skin her crew found.
We collected propane tanks, lots of water logged slabs of wood and chunks of styrofoam, a huge piece of metal that might have once been a door of a walk-in cooler, bottles, plastic, and undescribable yucky stuff. Roger found a message in a bottle. One crew hefted onto their boat a slab of wood that appeared to be part of a long set of stairs. It barely fit in the boat. Look at how Ted handled getting it out of the boat!
When the dumpster is weighed, we'll post the total poundage.
Fire: More than 2,000 acres, mostly in Levy County, have been treated with prescribed burning since January.
Forests: On the Dixie County side, where weather has not been as good for prescribed burning, with the help of the Refuge's new Cat more than 70,000 legacy trees have been planted.
Need information: Refuge Manager Andrew Gude can be reached by text or phone at 703.622.3896.
The Refuge is open daily from dawn to dusk.
Visitors are welcome to walk or bicycle around yellow Refuge gates.
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